Cauliflower is trending.
It’s grown in popularity largely due to its versatility. The flexible veggie can be used to create various versions of comfort foods — from low-carb pizza crust to vegetarian “chicken” wings. While the list of creative ways to use up cauliflower is endless, today it’s all about cauliflower rice.
When prepared correctly, a dish of cauliflower rice can actually fool your guests into thinking they’re eating the real thing. Here is my list of secrets to making the best serving ever!
1. Get Your “Rice” The Right Consistency
The first step in making the perfect cauliflower rice is pulsing the vegetable in a food processor. The biggest mistake I see a lot of people make is over-pulsing the cauliflower. If you over-pulse then you’ll be left with a thick and mushy texture.
To achieve that perfect rice texture, the cauliflower bits should actually be a bit larger than real rice. You can even leave a few bigger chunks in there. So when you hit the “pulse” button on your food processor, keep a close eye on your “rice.”
Also, make sure the rice is dry before you cook it.
2. Layer The Flavors
Do you remember eating boiled cauliflower as a child? If so, you probably know that cauliflower on its own doesn’t have a lot of flavor. Another key to making mouthwatering cauliflower rice is adding in other ingredients that will create a flavor blast that’s bound to make diners go “ohhh” and “ahhh”. I do this with salt, pepper, various spices, and caramelized vegetables.
Since caramelized vegetables take on a sweeter, more drooly taste, give them some time to brown. Start with onions and then add in other vegetables. If you’re using garlic, add that last so it doesn’t burn. Then season your veggie base and taste. It should be flavorful and rich.
For an extra splash of extra flavor, I may also use tamari, chicken stock, or sometimes even white wine.
3. Wok Fry Your “Rice” on High Heat
The best cauliflower rice is a delicious marriage of flavors, but also delivers the perfect consistency. Ever try mushy rice? Yuck. Al dente cauliflower rice is way yummier. To achieve the best consistency don’t use a regular pan that might steam your rice. Instead, wok fry it over high heat and turn off the fire as soon as your rice is cooked through.
4. Do Not Overcook
After you’ve caramelized, flavored, and cooked your rice to perfection, remove the rice immediately from the pan. Transfer the rice to a shallow, cool dish to stop the rice from cooking. You can even make this a day ahead and warm the rice in the oven in a pan.
Try Two Variations
Now that you know my four top secrets to preparing the best cauliflower rice EVER, why not give it a go? For a better-for-you fried rice that rivals the stuff you bring home from your local Chinese restaurant, check out this recipe.
But, as I share with you often, a few simple ingredient swaps means you can easily transform one dish into something completely different. Which is why I’m also sharing my recipe for Mexican Cauliflower Rice.
Have fun and create your own twist on this dish!